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Politics / Issues

'We Built It' Continues To Garner Attention and Criticism

Tired of hearing and seeing "We Built It,'' yet?

"If it were a drinking game, we'd all be sloshed by now,'' joked Melinda Henneberger of the Washington Post in a recent interview on the subject with political consultant Frank Luntz.

Luntz, a Republican party strategist, warned that we'll hear more of this slogan tonight during the last session of the Republican National Convention.

Republicans obviously love their new mantra, culled from a statement President Obama made about small business owners and hurled into the national convention spotlight this week.

Democrats are on the defensive: "What did Romney build?''

Fact-checkers, mainly journalists, are quick to point out Obama's words were taken out of context.

ABC News argues that Republicans are "side-stepping'' the government's role in helping "us'' build this country, and that we don't have to look much farther than Tampa or the Tampa Bay Times Forum for an example.

" ...  The construction of the arena, which has been home to the NHL’s Tampa Bay Lightning since Oct. 20, 1996, was very much a group effort,'' ABC said. "The “we,” in this case, includes local taxpayers, who put up $86 million for the cause, along with the Lightning organization, which chipped in the remaining $53 million.''

The Nation breaks it down even more:

"Both the Republican and Democratic National Conventions are directly financed, in part, by taxpayer money. The Presidential Election Campaign Fund gave public grants of $18,248,300 to each convention, according to the Federal Election Commission.''

The government also played a role in preparing Tampa to host the convention, reports WUSF's Sarah Pusateri. The city received a $50 million federal grant for security and funded much of the $43-million makeover that included improving roads, planting trees and completing the Riverwalk along the Hillsborough River.

Check out these beautification projects on our Pinterest board.